Are you a collector, too?

By Pat Remick

I don’t have many hobbies compared to other people. I don’t collect coins or antiques, for example. I don’t search for stamps or yarn, nor do I fish, ski or sew. In fact, the list of things I don’t collect or do in my leisure time is extremely long.

But I recently realized that I am a collector of vast proportions because I’m a collector of words.

Like all writers, I treasure books. My bookcases are jammed with autographed fiction and non-fiction, and I especially cherish the volumes graciously signed by our fellow SinCNE members.

I’m also a rabid collector of quotations. I am fascinated by thought-provoking and inspirational sayings I discover in books, newspapers, on the Web, and elsewhere. These maxims can be delicious morsels of encouragement. Some comfort me. Others make me laugh. And sometimes, these words created by others can infuriate me.

I have quotes everywhere — displayed on the walls of my office at home and in the workplace, on my refrigerator, near my computer and my dresser, in my purse and even in the car. I like to share the best ones and I’m grateful for those who patiently indulge this predilection.

My favorites have changed over the years. Here’s one that I discovered on a handmade greeting card that has kept me going through some recent personal challenges:

Even in the darkest night

Believe in the wonder

Believe in the light

Believe in your soul

Believe in your insight

Believe that, at last

It will come out right.

One that helps me keep writing and overcome my rebelliousness against BIC (Butt in the Chair) is Brian Littrell’s motivating adage:

“Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you will land among the stars.”

Do you collect words, too? What quotations (writing and non-writing) inspire you?

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12 Responses to Are you a collector, too?

  1. Nancy Gardner says:

    Ah, Pat, a fellow quote collector. Remember the couple we heard at CrimeBake, given to us by Michael Palmer. He suggested writers post two stickies on their computer. One was,”I am fearless!” The other was, “This is hard!”

  2. Diane Valley says:

    Oh, Pat…you are truly a collector of words, phrases, quotes, and inspirational sayings, but to me you are much more -my dear longtime friend! Love this piece!

  3. Barbara Ross says:

    Over my desk is the George Eliot quote, “It is never too late to be what you might have been.” I find it inspires me whenever I’m doing something difficult or trying to learn something new.

  4. “God made man because he loves stories.” From an ancient Hasidic parable, used by Elie Wiesel as a preface of sorts to his book, The Gates of the forest.

  5. Rosemary says:

    I get a word a day sent to me via email. Most of the time they are words which i’d never use or have fallen out of favor – but i love being reminded of them and will occasionally work them back into the rotation!
    The quote over my desk – All the art of living lies in a fine mingling of letting go and holding on.

  6. patremick says:

    Love these quotes — thanks for sharing!!

  7. Mo Walsh says:

    My Life Lesson Quote:
    “We cannot all do great things, but we can do small things with great love.” – Mother Teresa
    My Technology Frustration Quote:
    “Not only are you smarter than your computer – so is a parakeet.”
    My Writing Quote (one of many):
    “If you invent two or three people and turn them loose in your manuscript, something is bound to happen to them—you can’t help it; and then it will take you the rest of the book to get them out of the natural consequences of that occurrence, and so, first thing you know, there’s your book all finished up and never cost you an idea.” – Mark Twain

  8. G.M. Malliet says:

    Pat – My favorite is the old standby engraved on a paperweight that sits on my desk: “Never never never quit.” Winston Churchill is being misquoted a bit here (I think what he said was, “Never, never, never give up”) but that is the gist. I bought the paperweight years ago at the House of the Seven Gables in Salem–their gift shop was overflowing with wonderful things for writers.

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